Science of dating cave paintings 3110c music player updating library

Researcher Leslie Van Gelder was able to make this determination based on the locations of the flutings in the cave (etchings made closer to the ground were more likely done by children) and the ratio of the size of the index finger and the ring finger.In men, the ring finger tends to be longer, but in women, the digits are often the same size or the index finger is longer.However, anthropologists examining the paintings contend that Stone Age art may have been the product of religious beliefs, as explained in a 2010 study published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology.

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Before these cave painters could move into their respective studios, some of them had to evict existing tenants.

In two French caves containing paintings dating back around 32,000 years ago, ancient humans displaced cave bears in order to claim the sites for themselves, according to a study published in April in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Reaching back tens of thousands of years into human history, cave paintings, petroglyphs and other forms of ancient art, such as the one seen above, show the roots of our innate desire for self-expression.

But exactly who were the Stone-Age artists whose hands collectively painted, molded or carved what remains of their efforts today?

Cave bears even appear on some of the art on the walls.

Researchers came to this determination after they "performed radiocarbon dating, mitochondrial DNA analysis and isotope investigations of cave bear remains from Chauvet-Pont d'Arc and Deux-Ouvertures caves located along the Ardeche River in France," according to Discovery News' Jennifer Viegas.

Whether humans are responsible for the broader cave-bear extinction in the region is still unclear.

Environmental and/or climatic changes may have also played a role.

The images produced could be the result of visions by these holy individuals during religious rituals.

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